Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

20 April 2008

Slow Burn, dir. Wayne Beach (2005)

STEVE says:
This was a good-but-not-great Noirish thriller whose only failing, as far as I'm concerned, is that it relied too heavily on the Usual Suspects/Keyser Soze gimmick with its Danny Luden character.

This is one of those movies where red herrings abound, so when it's pushing you too far in one direction, you can be sure it's the wrong one. Usual Suspects never falls into that trap because the film posits that Keyser Soze might not even exist in reality, so you're never sitting there trying to guess which one of the gang is hiding his identity. With Slow Burn, it's a constant shell-game, where each new lead points to a different character. And when it starts pointing too insistently, you instinctively start looking elsewhere. The twist-upon-twist-upon-twist ending was a bit much, I'm sitting there thinking, "End already!" but it was solid enough to keep me interested for the duration, even though we figured out pretty early what was going on.

None of which means that it deserves the caning it's receiving over there at

The critics are just ripping Slow Burn to shreds, which is unfortunate and unfair. It's not like it's trying to bring anything new to the thriller table; it's taking the conventions of the genre and using them as necessary. Does that merit a 12%? I think not.


NIKKI says:
You know, I never once thought of The Usual Suspects while watching this movie. Looking back, I can see that movie's influence all over this one. Still, I was happy with the goings on. I thought figuring out LL Cool J was the killer and then realising he wasn't then thinking he was again was actually fun.

There were bits and pieces here that I didn't like. Mainly that the Assistant DA would even think for two seconds that her DA boyfriend (Ray) would believe her story for a second. I'm questioning, too, the fact that Ray never once suspected her of anything during the months she was seeing someone else.

So, yeah, if you pulled a thread, the whole thing might unravel. I still liked it. Perhaps I just liked watching Ray face off against LL? But who wouldn't like that? I also loved the movie's soundtrack. Some really great soul tunes in this one.

So, did you notice how Ray Liotta aged badly in his 40s, and now seems to be aging REALLY well in his 50s? I said to Steve in the movie that Ray would be approaching 50, as all my crushes from the early '90s seem to be, and here I find Ray's 53! He looks 40 in this movie. Svelte, healthy, delish.

There's a point right there.


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